If your home or property has been damaged due to the hurricane, it is your responsibility to take action to prevent further damage. If your home or business is damaged, please make emergency repairs to prevent further damage as soon you are able to do so safely. Take photographs. And, please save any receipts. Keep damaged items so your insurance company can see them.
Save all receipts from your temporary repairs.
If you’re not sure it’s safe, professionals can help, and you should hire a local contractor who specializes in this kind of work.
If your house sustains damage and you need emergency board-ups or roof protection, we recommend calling your insurance company first. Often, they have a program where they refer out approved emergency contractors.
If your insurance company does not offer this, our agency recommends the following resources:
You can report your claim one of two ways. Be ready to provide a general description of your damage.
Make a complete list of items that were damaged by the hurricane. This will help expedite the claims process. Document the damage with photos and videos.
Don’t throw out damaged items, especially expensive items.
FEMA has disaster assistance programs. Consider applying for FEMA disaster assistance, or talking to them about the resources available. We particularly recommend this if your home flooded. Their phone number is 800-621-3362
Most insurance companies require that you to wait until the damage to your property has been assessed by a claims representative before you begin making permanent repairs.
However, you should schedule a contractor to make permanent repairs as soon as possible because contractors can be difficult to schedule after a storm. Be sure to hire a reputable contractor and NEVER sign a contract that includes an assignement of benefits clause.
Your insurance policy typically covers the cost to repair common hurricane damage—including damage to roofs, walls, and your belongings. A hurricane or wind/hail deductible will apply to your claim. Generally, hurricane deductibles in Florida range from 2% to 10% of the insured value of the home. So, if your home is insured for $200,000 with a 2% hurricane deductible, your hurricane deductible is $4,000.
If you can’t live in your home, your insurance company may pay additional living expenses, as noted in your policy, while the damage is assessed and your home is being repaired or rebuilt. If repairs take longer than the period of time covered in your policy, you may be eligible for additional assistance from federal emergency programs.
Remember that most home and business insurance policies do not cover flood damage. If you purchased a policy through the National Flood Insurance Program or Private Flood, contact your agent to file a claim for flood-related damages or report the claim directly to your flood insurance company.
Is your car damaged? If you purchased comprehensive coverage ("comp), both hurricane damage and flooding to your car will be covered by your car insurance company. A comprehensive deductible will apply. Report this claim to your car insurance company.
Your insurance company will replace damaged items and materials with the same type and quality of materials you had before the hurricane. For example, if you had a fiberglass roof, they will pay to repair or replace damage with fiberglass materials, but they won’t pay to replace it with more expensive slate tile.
If damage is extensive, people sometimes decide to take the opportunity to upgrade their property with better or more expensive materials.
If you want to pay the additional expense to upgrade, you’re welcome to do so out of your personal budget.
Any time you make improvements to your property, let us know to make sure you have enough insurance coverage, and to find out if you are eligible for new discounts as a result of your home improvements.